It’s being called #DoekGate as South Africans rally around eNCA reporter Nontobeko Sibisi who is speaking out against the broadcaster’s dress code policy.
Nontobeko claims that her Arts & Entertainment segment for Africa Day was pulled from the air because she was wearing a doek (headscarf).
The issue comes down to exclusion in the workplace and outdated rules around what it means to be professional. This is an important point to address in South Africa which is home to many people for whom wearing a headscarf is a part of their culture or religion. On social media, some are even labelling it as anti-African:
The attack on the #doek is about the ‘unacceptability’ of African aesthetics in ‘corporate culture’. It’s an attack on Africanity
— The Native (@Zuko_Godlimpi) June 1, 2016
We love head scarves so much that we recently filmed a how-to video for our readers.
Here’s a sneak peek of our hair wraps how-to video, which we filmed with sister publication People Magazine:
Twitter came out to show support for Nontobeko, as well as a more inclusive dress code at work, using the hashtags #RespekTheDoek and #DoekGate:
— Neo Motloung (@MrNeoMotloung) June 2, 2016
— Tebogo Tsheole (@tmtsheole) June 2, 2016
African women know how to rock a head wrap, even eNCA’s Nontobeko Sibisi looked beautiful in that report #RespekTheDoek
— Mpho Malemane (@Msquare_gifted) June 2, 2016
— Theto Mahlakoana (@ThetoThakane) June 2, 2016
— AROK (@masb_quik) June 2, 2016
One positive coming out of #DoekGate is that eNCA will be revising the policy around what reporters can wear on camera, according to its Editor-in-Chief Anton Harber.
Even if it isn’t a religious or culture-related choice, the head wrap is a quick way to polish off a look or go one more day with greasy hair. For all the above-listed reasons, headscarves definitely should be more welcomed at work.